“How dare them?” is what bloggers say when someone steals their content.
Plagiarism is wrong. We all know it.
But, are honest bloggers inadvertently stealing and sharing copyrighted images?
Before joining Pinterest, one of the issues I read about was: are images being uploaded to Pinterest illegally?
Questioning this is photographer and blogger, Elizabeth Halford, who wrote an article titled Will Pinterest Be Sued by Photographers Like Napster was Sued by Musicians? Both her post and the comments raise some interesting points.
ReadWriteWeb published How Pinterest Uses Your Content Without Violating Copyright Laws.
Although it appears Pinterest may be protected, the way I see it is the same may not apply to those who upload images.
Pinterest stresses the importance of linking to the original source of a photo, however when we “repin” a photo or content, unless we follow all of the links, we have no way of knowing if we’re breaking copyright law, nor do we know if the “original” photo is indeed the work of the person whose site it was found on, nor do we always know if the creator of the original image wants their image(s) shared. Add to that how different countries have different laws regarding copyright. Confusing, hey?
But it’s not just Pinterest we need to be concerned with, it’s also the images we upload to our blogs, Facebook, Google +, or any social networking site.
Copyright law may come into play.
…As original, creative text flows from the pencil or pen, or as it is pounded into the paper with an old-fashioned typewriter, the copyright protection for those words begins.
For other types of work, the medium in which the work is fixed is different. Movies are fixed in the film, videos in the tape, paintings “in” the canvas and so on.
The key is that to be copyrightable a work must be in a form that can be copied.
Wikimedia includes publications on copyright, as well.
Although some items can not be copyrighted, many are indeed covered by copyright. Wikimedia includes a long list which includes:
- Photos of people – sometimes copyright applies
- CD and book covers
- [Some] clothing
- [Some] maps
For bloggers, or anyone who uploads photos online, it’s hard to know if we’re doing the right thing.
Some will assume just because a photo is not watermarked, it can be freely used. As Mike shares, that’s not the case.
Absence of copyright notice is no longer a reliable indicator of whether a work is protected.
In life, we often hear, “ignorance is bliss”.
With regard to copyright, it’s not.
There could be repercussions.
Where do you get the images for your blog posts?
Do you worry about the copyright of these images?
Care to share?
Other great links on copyright include:
Legal Pitfalls in Taking or Using Photographs of Copyright Material, Trademarks and People,
by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Legal Guide for Bloggers
at Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).